Top brands make social media faux pas

With the ever growing force of social media taking over our lives, top global brands have seen it as a great way to market their company. But it has not always worked!

With fast response and the ability to reach large audiences with the click of a button, make it a desirable concept, but in the same way problems and issues can be blown out of proportion within seconds, turning a top brands great idea into negative press overnight.

More often than not the error is due to the lack of vital knowledge about social media and the web. But as people get more switched on, these problems are starting to become less frequent.

However here at Northern Media, we wanted to highlight some of the most high profile campaigns that went horribly wrong, to showcase how a little bit of grey area can cause a magnitude of problems.

McDonalds probably had the biggest twitter campaign problem in January 2012 after they launched their #McDStories hashtag. It was intended to compliment a new ‘meet the farmer’s’ initiative to promote good experiences, but instead people used it to slate the McDonalds name.

Within two hours the campaign was pulled after 70,000 people used the hastag to vent anger and McDonalds had to eat humble pie and admit that their campaign “didn’t go as planned”.

The Snickers campaign or Snicker-gate as it became later known, saw Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand post a tweet with him about the eat a Snickers bar.

Paying celebrities to endorse is not a new thing but twitter followers contacted OFT (Office of Fair Trading) because it was not publically announced by Ferdinand that he was promoting the product.

Needless to say, Snickers image was not helped by this.

It is not just campaigns but offensive or derogatory tweets that can also bring down an image identity. KitchenAid insulted the USA President Barrack Obama after they tweeted about his dead grandmother.

In a weak act, they claimed she died before he was sworn in because she knew how bad it would be. They quickly apologised and after admitting that an employee used the companies account rather than his personal account, he was fired. A bad day at the ‘office’ indeed.

These are just a few of the high profile cases from Twitter. So next time you are Marketing your brand just think about any backlash that could come from just 140 characters and one click of a button.



Written by Anthony Bowyer

Senior Account Manager

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